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Date: Late Jan

She'd called everyone out of the house that evening, take out Mark who had chosen to work from home that afternoon and normally didn't bother her even when he was there. Benji had work and Prudence had been told to go on a date with Dexon while Gemma played house with her friend.

The tea was ready, She'd just set the little cakes on the table. She looked in the mirror quickly going into the room to pick out another sun-dress...when she heard the knock, the house elf about to get it.
"Iie~" She said, no in her native language, the elf looking at her before she finished fixing her dress.
"I got it." She smiled opening up the door. "I'm glad you got here safe." She gave her warm greeting to her guest.
English rural sceneries were not so much different from the roiling grasslands and grazing cattle that blanketed the French countryside, but the woman still appreciated the view as it glided past the spotted window of the magical train. As was the case whenever she travelled, Zi Shang brought a book, but it laid shut on the table tray. Most of the time, she imagined taking Gazing Dust through the fields, feeling the late winter gales whipping through her hair as the Abraxan's hooves thundered beneath her thighs.

Zi Shang had dreamed of it time and time again in Mitchell.

And now that she was free, there was more to be done than merely counting one's blessings. Francis might have footed the bulk of her bail, and perhaps it could have been done even without the fundraiser that her friends had organised, but certainly it would not have meant the same.

Once upon a time, she had thought herself entirely alone in the wizarding world. It was friends like the one she was on her way to visit that reminded her of what she had achieved.

Gemma's friend came bearing gifts, though a box of French macarons and a pair of baby shoes certainly paled in comparison to what the other woman had done for her. Zi Shang apparated from the train station to the address which Gemma had given her, a warm smile ready as the front door pulled open to reveal the familiar face.

"It was an uneventful journey, which is always welcomed."

She leaned back slightly to assess her friend's rounded abdomen, eyes widening a little as she exclaimed gently, "And look at you! The little one has grown so much since I last saw you both."
Last edited by Zi Shang An on 24 Mar 2019, 14:59, edited 1 time in total.

Played By: Everevna
She would have hugged her, if only her belly would allow it. Gemma at this point was lucky to see her shoes, though she was happy none the less at the thought of why that was. Zi looked a beautiful as she remembered, opening the door further so she could enter the green and silver deigned home that shown a bit of Blue to honor marks house.
"Always the best kind of trip." She responded knowing the feeling a little too well from past travels with people stopping her due to her being in the public eye.

She laughed,
"Oh, that she has." She smiled. "She's almost ready to join us in person, I personally can't wait." She had seen the bags, calling the elf. The elf smiled at Gemma happy to be of service, Gemma had always been one to treat them like they were part of the family.
"Help her with her bags if you wouldn't mind." She gave the elf a gentle smile.

"Hope you like sweets." She said gently, "Because I've been craving them...I hear there good with tea no?" She said, walking more towards the private Livingroom.
"Oh no, please, I'd like to keep it with me," Zi Shang quickly clarified with a polite smile to the house-elf who approached her. She had not planned to stay the night and merely packed the brown carrier bag with gifts and some basic travel necessities.

The woman followed her very pregnant friend as the other directed them to the living area.

"That they are," she acquiesced.

"Thank you for inviting me into your home. It's lovely to see where you live now. I hope all is well with Benji? He must be so excited to meet his daughter."

She was not surprised to hear of the baby's sex. It was one of the few joys she was privy to in Mitchell and came in the form of a letter from Gemma.

Played By: Everevna
The elf looked at her, Gemma simply nodding to the elf to go back to what it was doing.
"I'm glad you agree, after all I made them myself." She smiled, offering a seat while she started to pour the tea.

"It's no problem, honestly it's nice to have company." She gave the woman a warm grin. "I'm glad you like it." She nodded. "He is, he's already hand designing the babies room. Refusing to allow me to help him. He's going to be a great father." She put the cup for Zi in front of her.

"And you darling look wonderful," She sat down gently, as a white and black kitten joined the girls in the room. Mark's cat in the corner away from them while her little white kitten curled up next to her.
"What have you been up to?" She asked.
Gemma's guest thanked her for the tea and immediately reached for it. The travel to the Binxes' family homestead was not long, but it was not the warmest, and a cup of tea sounded far too comforting.

She was comforted, too, by her friend's words about her fiancé, and it showed in the soft, genuine smile she wore.

Zi Shang did wonder at times how the manner of life worked. Once upon a time, she herself had been engaged and had fancied of how she might plan the wedding. Francis was not overly interested in the details and had indulged her in nearly every aspect of the planning, or he had tried to nonetheless. In the end it had all unravelled underneath the watchful eye of an overbearing mother-in-law-to-be.

Hers was not to be, but Gemma was luckier, and she was glad for it.

"Why thank you. I must say nothing quite beats your maternal glow," she answered with a gently teasing smile.

"I have just been resting. Things been slow. There are still some loose ends to tie up and the Society is not quite rushing to dispatch me across the globe just yet. As you might know," her smile turned a touch rueful, "these things take their time."

Played By: Everevna
She watched, it was almost like her friend was lost in thought. She'd heard about the woman's situation and felt sorry for her by it, every woman deserved a man like Benji to support them and love them. She sipped her tea, about to say something when her friend spoke up again.
"Oh, c'mon. It's not that obvious." She laughed. "And I dare say so myself you could be a model." She meant that. In fact she wanted to know what skin potion she used, the woman's skin was flawless.

'Hmm,' came out of her throat. "I might be able to help with that." She smiled. "I mean, I'm Gemma Batsu am I not?" She laughed. She'd gotten Prue's adoption papers through, Marks case was dealt with because of her influence. She still knew those people from her years of being in the public eye.
"Actually I wanted to ask you a question."
The other woman flushed abashed beneath her friend's compliment, briefly waving it away in her shyness.

"Of course, please. Anything, Gemma. You do know how much I am in your debt, don't you?" Zi Shang immediately lowered her teacup into her lap.

Played By: Everevna
She smiled,
"Honestly, it's no problem." She waved her off. "I've always had my hand in something, it's not me if I'm not helping someone." She found joy from it. It also got her out of her own head.
"Actually it's more of advise. I asked Mark about it but I'd like a second opinion." She took a note out of her pocket, the producer's note being handed to Zi.
"He's offering my job back. Should I take it?"
Owing a favour such as the one she owed Gemma was not as simple as her friend might like to think, but it only reflected the good heart that Gemma had. Her brows briefly knitted and then relaxed as she briefly skimmed the note she received, balancing the cup of tea on a knee with the other hand.

"Oh, Gemma, this must be such happy news for you."

She reached to squeeze her friend's hand before retracting it and continuing, "But I can see why you are considering it, especially with the little one coming."

Played By: Everevna
She nodded,
"Partly, you see my husband almost lost me once. For six years to be exact. I'm afraid taking this would upset him. Mark says to give it time, spend time with the family for a year." She chewed on her lip. "I don't know if this makes me sound...selfish but I miss singing. I miss the stage. I don't know if I can wait that long." She admitted, hearing shuffling in the kitchen before it vanished back into the back are of the house, a door closing.

"I'm ecstatic, truly. But I'm also torn." She admitted. Though if she did take her job back she could maybe help Zi get back to where she wanted to be. Celebrity backing helped a lot with what Gemma did for her friends and family.
The dilemma between family and career was a familiar one to many women. The magiphilologist was fortunate to yet be confronted with the decision, but even she had considered it out of sheer curiosity.

She cannot imagine retiring.

To never again immerse herself in tomes and parchments all day—and sometimes night—long, and to never again travel to and live in the various Society quarters around the world, it was a dreadful thought.

"It does not, Gemma. We all thrive on doing what we love. It is healthy to strive to do things, in moderation."

Zi Shang set down the note on the coffee table and took a sip of her tea.

"Perhaps you could reach a compromise with Benji and Mark for a more favourable time to return that will suit all three of you," she suggested thoughtfully. "Let's say, six months, instead of twelve? You must remember, you are so incredibly excited to meet your little girl, you may not even wish to leave her so soon yourself."

Played By: Everevna
The cup still in her hand she looked at her friend, listening to her. She'd not even brought it up to Benji yet, afraid of what he would say. If he'd be hurt, it wasn't Mark she was afraid of telling. It was Benji, Mark's reply hadn't exactly helped the anxiety over the matter.
"I am," She looked out the window. "And taking the child with me, away from her father wouldn't exactly be ideal either..." Maybe Zi and Mark were right. Her phrase indicating that she planned on never leaving her child.

She sighed,
"Maybe you two are right. After all six years I've waited...what's a little more time?" She chuckled. "Now, how am I gonna help you with your goals?" She set the cup down. "Because you know I wont stop badgering you about it." She smirked, her cute little girly girl smirk.
"Exactly," Zi Shang nodded encouragingly as the older woman came to conclusion on her own.

She exhaled a small laugh at Gemma's less-than-subtle attempt to induce her. Zi Shang lifted a warning finger at her friend, though her bemused smile gave away the jesting nature of their interaction.

"Don't you even think about it. Really, I appreciate having some time off. It has been a rather eventful few months."

Played By: Everevna
A few months, that seemed dreadfully boring to her. The woman always running around the house cleaning or finding something to do to busy herself. She'd made a few sweaters for her family during that time. Sweaters she was sure no one would wear.
"I find it funny you think I'm not going to think about it." She laughed. "I seriously have nothing to do but think about things deary." She reasoned, "But since your free... Me and Mark are going to the flower exhibit this weekend. I'd love if you would go." She offered. "He just got his sight back this year and I figured I'd show him what true flowers looked like."